Knowledge bombs from Aaron Draplin

We’re extremely excited to have recently hosted a very special guest on the Honest Designers Show, Mr. Aaron Draplin!

Aaron is arguably one of the most respected designers in the industry, and a bit of a personal hero for all four of us who host the show. I haven’t had the privilige of seeing him live at one of his many talks, but he is undeniably a super engaging character and well liked in the industry.

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Passive income: my advice on selling art as digital products

Selling artwork to earn passive income in the form of digital products or resources is a growing attraction for many designers and artists.

It’s not a new concept though. Royalty free image libraries for example, have been going for decades. But things have changed since then. Dramatically. Now artists have more control over their work and how they sell it.

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Finding confidence in your creative work

Creating art for a living is a true privilege and extremely fulfilling. But the act of creating requires some level of vulnerability which could be cause for huge anxiety. Putting yourself out there for the world to see, and possibly criticize, can be daunting and scary. Sometimes even crippling.

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Why non-designers matter

So often as designers, we get totally wrapped up in our design that we forget all about the end user and how they’ll be interacting with our work. Some designers even make the mistake of designing with their peers in mind instead of their clients! They seem to care more about what their fellow designers think of their work than the client who is paying for the job.

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Other ways to make money as a designer

If you’re a freelance designer, you’ll know all to well that income can be erratic! Some months are great, others not so great. But these days it’s pretty easy to add an extra stream of revenue as a buffer against those uncertain months. And if you’re full time employed, it’s a great way to save for that long-awaited holiday. View full article >

How to go from employed to freelance designer

When I was working as an art director for a large magazine company, I reached a point in my career where all I could think about was becoming my own boss! Although I loved my job, my dream to have my own graphic design business became my number one goal. Of course making a success of your own business doesn’t just fall into your lap. I knew the road ahead was going to be challenging, but I was up for it!

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Social media tips for designers

It’s no secret, one of the best free marketing tools out there is social media. Using social media as a designer can be really beneficial in helping land new clients, building your brand and presence, and it can even help with career-defining connections.

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How to stand out as a designer

The design world can be really competitive, making it tough to stand out as a designer. But one thing you can do to get noticed in a very crowded industry, is to find your uniqueness. Seth Godin called it finding your purple cow! What funny quirks do you have? What are you really good at? What unique qualities can you offer your clients that others just don’t do well or at all?

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Starting a freelance business from scratch

When I first started my freelance business, I did what most people would avoid like the plague, the dreaded cold-calling! I knew clients weren’t going to just fall into my lap, I had to go out and get them. So I picked up the local Yellow Pages and phoned all the companies I thought would need graphic design services.

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Overcoming isolation as a designer

Working from home alone can be a dream come true for some designers. I know for me, it’s truly a blessing and something I don’t take for granted at all. But you do run the risk of becoming too isolated, and as a creative, that could potentially have a negative impact on you and your craft.

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